Melvin Elliot Lapides '50 '52

Melvin Elliot Lapides, 83, passed away on February 8, 2012.

Mel was born in Brooklyn, New York. He earned BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and worked as a nuclear engineer for most of his career.

In 1962 Mel moved to Palo Alto, recruited from General Electric by Philco-Ford, where he became Manager of Space Technology. In 1974 he joined the newly-formed Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where he met his future wife, Larkin. He retired from the Nuclear Power Division in 1993 and moved to Los Altos.

If engineering was Mel’s vocation, art was his avocation. His wire figures and mobiles delighted viewers of all ages, and were exhibited at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, Platt Galleries, a midwestern nuclear power plant, and The Terraces of Los Altos.

Mel was a gifted comic writer, enthusiastic vegetable gardener, and a wizard bridge and poker player. He was a staunch volunteer with Los Altos Friends of the Library and helped pioneer the online book sales program. He missed no opportunity to brag about his children and grandchildren.

Sadly, advanced Parkinson’s Disease finally caught up with Mel.